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Archive for July 13th, 2009

Switching sides…

For the past four weeks I’ve been blogging, emailing and surfing the net using this nifty little gadget…

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That’s right folks, I’ve made the switch to Sun’s broadband services. Though not as efficient as I was hoping it would be, it still delivers on its promise of lightning fast connection… SOMETIMES, that is. My main gripe is that everything starts to slow down or worse, grind to a halt, during the evenings when internet usage is at its highest, and when I’m usually found roaming the www and blogging.

I’ve already complained to their CS department and they promised (as usual) to look into it. I’m not gonna hold them to that promise though, because like everything else in this country, it’ll take an act of Congress or even God, to make these telecom companies move their collective butts.

Good thing I opted for an account without a lock-in period, I may have to pay a bit more at P799 a month — which by the way is P200 cheaper that what I’ve been shelling out for SmartBro — but at least I’m not tied to a contract. Should things become unbearable, connection-wise, I can ditch this thing anytime without going through the pre-termination hassles, and maybe switch to their pre-paid broadband connection so I can still use the little USB modem whenever I feel like going mobile.

And speaking of those pesky lock-in period, my one year contract with SmartBro will expire today, July 13. Since I’ve no intention of maintaining my broadband account with them anymore, I decided to drop by their business office, last Saturday, to inform them of my decision.

Me (talking to a customer service rep): Hi, my lock-in period expires on Monday, July 13, and I’ve decided to discontinue my subscription, so I’m requesting to have my account terminated.

CS: Okay sir, but you will have to come back on the 13th to formally terminate your account.

Me: Huh? What’s wrong with doing it now?

CS: Sir, if we terminate your account today, we will have to charge you with a pre-termination fee…

Me: What? but the 13th is only TWO days away, and since it’s a Monday, I’ll be very busy. And I seriously doubt if I’ll have the time to drop by any Smart business office, that’s why I wanna do it today, while I have the time.

CS: I understand sir, but that is the company’s policy.

Me: So, what if I can’t make it on that day, or the day after that?

CS: You can still drop by any time at your convenience, sir.

Me: And what would happen if I suddenly forgot to do it? Would Smart continue charging me for the service?

CS: Yes sir.

Me: See? That’s why I WANT TO DO IT NOW instead of the thirteenth! I will be busy the whole week and I cannot squeeze it in my schedule!

CS: Sir let me check your account information first.

He started typing on the keyboard, and a few seconds later…

CS: Sir, it says here that the cut-off date of your account is on the 24th of every month. So if you cannot make it next week, you still have a few more days to spare.

Me: Ah ok, that’s good news then. But what if I suddenly have to go abroad, or get hit by the H1N1 virus and I cannot make it on or before the 24th, what then?

CS: …. err, then we will have to charge you for the following month’s service.

Me: Even if I had already informed you guys about the termination?

CS: Yes sir, that’s why you have to be here in person before the cut-off date so we can process everything…

Me: Kaya nga I want to do everything in advance eh! Just in case I become unavailable in the following weeks…

By this time I was already losing patience. I cannot for the life of me understand why this company chose to make it difficult for its subscribers to terminate their account. I’ve already wasted fifteen minutes of my life waiting for my number to be called, only to be told to come back on another day — all because of “company policy”.

And before I could blurt out some unprintables about Smart and its stupid termination procedures to the guy in front of me, I left. I gave up, because there’s no use reasoning with a company that refuses to be flexible with its policies. I mean, TWO f**king days? Come on…

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